Lugar says he'd back Indiana Gov. Daniels for president

Sen. Richard Lugar vowed to back Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for president if the fellow Hoosier State Republican wages a White House bid in 2012.

Lugar, a veteran Republican senator, said he hopes that Daniels will challenge President Obama and run for the White House in two years.

“I hope he will strongly consider it,” Lugar said during an annual lunch, as reported by the Evansville Courier Press. “I’m not going to support anybody else until I know what Mitch is going to do. If he runs, I will support him.”

Daniels is among the crowd of dark-horse Republican candidates to challenge Obama in 2012, having generated some buzz among admirers nationally for his fiscally conservative and plain-spoken style.

Daniels is a former director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) during the first two years of President George W. Bush's term. His current term, his second, expires in 2012, and he's term-limited from seeking a third turn as governor.

He has been coy about any presidential ambitions so far, but has attracted a cult following among some GOP officials and party activists. He's also tested the waters about such a run behind the scenes, appearing in Washington at some closed-door meetings and fundraisers.

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